For the second time the season, St. Paul Saints starter Eddie Medina got to face his old team, and this time he was even more impressive, blanking the Wichita Wingnuts over 6.1 innings, leading his team to a 5-0 victory. The victory was the fifth of the year for Medina, tying him for the team lead. The Saints hit three solo home runs to provide the support for their starter.
The St. Paul Saints would jump out to a lead in the bottom of the first against Wichita starter Jordan Cooper. Max Murphy led off the frame with a base hit up the middle, then stole second base. Cooper was able to retire Kyle Barrett and Burt Reynolds, and it looked like he would get out of the inning unscathed, but an error in right field allowed Brady Shoemaker to reach base and Murphy to score to give St. Paul the quick 1-0 lead.
In the third, St. Paul would extend their lead thanks to another Wichita miscue. With one out, Murphy lined a ball into the gap in center for a double and moved to third on a ground out. With two down, Reynolds reached on another error by the right fielder, allowing Murphy to score to extend the lead to two.
In the bottom of the fourth, Dante Bichette, Jr. connected on his fourth home run of the season to extend the St. Paul lead to three. St. Paul would use the long ball to further extend their lead. In the bottom of the fifth, Kyle Barrett hit his second home run of the season to make it a 4-0 ballgame. In the eighth, Reynolds hit his 14th of the year, second-most in the American Association, to provide the final run of the game, as St. Paul won 5-0.
Meanwhile, Eddie Medina (5-3) was absolutely brilliant for the St. Paul Saints. The right-hander had a no-hitter going through the first four innings, striking out seven in that span. The first hit allowed came in the top of the fifth when John Nester grounded a single into left field for a base hit. However, Medina would retire the next three batters without any further runners reaching base.
Medina would allow another hit in the sixth, but it was in the seventh that he would find himself and a little bit of trouble. After striking out Abel Nieves to lead off the inning, Tony Thomas doubled to left before Nester walked. That brought a call to the bullpen as Medina’s night was over. The right-hander went 6.1 innings, allowing 3-hits and 2-walks while striking out 8.
Beck Wheeler came on and struck out Ryne Willard before getting Hunter Clanin to ground out to end the threat. Beck returned for the eighth and retired the first two batters of the inning before Ken Frosch struck out Logan Watkins to end the inning. It was the 32nd appearance this season for Frosch where he has not been scored upon.
In the ninth, former Wichita Wingnuts reliever Mike Devine came on looking to close out the game. He would give up a one out hit to Nieves before walking Thomas, but then struck out Nester before getting Willard to pop out to complete the shutout for his third save of the season.
The St. Paul Saints scored three of their runs with two outs in the inning. Max Murphy was 2-4 with 2-runs scored. Dante Bichette, Jr. finished 3-4 with a run and an RBI. No Wingnuts player had more than one hit.
These two teams will battle again on Thursday night to conclude their two-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
By Robert Pannier